Expat Genius 13 Mag, 2017

What are the most beneficial languages to learn for being a more attractive employee?

The questions was originally asked in Quora. The person is asking for advises  about what language to learn as third language. He works in advertising. Most people assumed that since he lives in US, he's already fluent in English and Spanish. It's not clear, though, if, in this case, languages mean coding or talking to people! 

We've selected what we consider the best replies. 


1. I’m assuming you’re in a career where you talk to people (vs. coding computers).  If you’re interested in selling ads into other Americas markets, adding French (for Canada but optional) and Portuguese (for Brazil) to English and Spanish will do. The most spoken languages worldwide are Hindi, Chinese (in several flavors), English, and Spanish. If you believe your industry wants to sell ads to Indian or Chinese advertisers, it might be worth your time.


2. If you work in advertising with a view to a global career the three largest advertising markets are the US, China and Japan. In China the language to learn is Mandarin as that is the language of business and politics there. With one of the major networks, being multilingual would be an advantage if you are looking to travel and live overseas.


3. After Spanish, what is the next most popular language in your area / industry?  Also, how do you see this 3rd language being helpful? Help you to connect with potential clients? Helpful to expand into a new market? How would a potential employer find this valuable?


4. I assume you're referring here to programming languages. These days the most popular and marketable languages are probably Python for scripting and Java for general development. Another good language on the rise is Go and would probably look impressive on a resume. But it really depends on the type of work you want to do and the industry you're in to know what would be the best choice. It would also be helpful to know which programming languages you already know to answer effectively.


5. If you already speak English and Spanish, why go to all the trouble and effort of learning a third? Most agencies wouldn't necessarily see that as an advantage unless they have a foreign client who for some reason can't speak English. Spend the time instead gaining extra skills in whatever you do in the agency.